Lewis, Gunner

At the end of the first World War, the Treaty of Versailles had totally crippled Germany. The treaty led to financial ruin, a limited army, and hyperinflation of Germany’s money. This desperation created the opportunity for which a radical political regime and ideology could rise and a scapegoat could be found in the nation’s Jews in order to blame the post-war situation on. Many Germans began believing Hitler’s ideas that Jews wished to survive and expand at the expense of all other German people and that the Jews were the one’s that caused Germany to be in disarray. This idea led to a hatred and demonization of Jews within Germany that made it easy for the government to install antisemetic mandates, such as the Nuremberg Laws, that created the strict segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish Germans.

The social phenomenon of the rise of antisemetism after World War One stands as a strong example of the Banality of Evil. The people of Germany weren’t, as a whole, overtly racist or ideologically opposed to Jewish people prior to the War, but during their time of post-war desperation and Hitler’s subsequent rise to power, they were willing to go allow the injustices that were being felt be te Jews to be perpetrated because it was the authority that was commiting them and they needed to blame the naiton’s hardship on something. The Jews of Germany went from being an important part of the society, although they did face some prejudice, to hatred, extreme alienation, and even violence at the hands of the nation that they called home. This hatred was expressed by German propaganda and policy that deemed Jews to be sub-humans that didn’t reserve the same rights as other Germans. This hatred eventually led to the unthinkable acts that began with the Night of Broken Glass in 1938 in which synagogues were burned and many Jews were executed or put into concentration camps.